Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Thanks for your service"

One of my resolutions this year was STAMP more and SEND more. A related resolution was to remember service members that are, as our pastor would say, " doing dangerous and difficult jobs in dangerous and difficult places". Addresses of several deployed members were posted on a church bulletin board so I snagged them. Yesterday I finally had a chance to play with The Free and the Brave -- I don't want to tell you how long it has been in my stack of stamps! I kept stamping, changing layouts, and coming upstairs for Byron's opinion (I'm sure he enjoyed that-- he was trying to study!). His opinion is valuable to me because he is the first to tell me if I am going "over the top". As these are to thank the addressees for their service, I wanted to be pretty sedate and dignified, and to only use embellishments if it truly added something appropriate to the card. Here are some the designs we finally agreed we liked. Heidi, Mike is getting the one immediately below!

Byron didn't care for the rhinestone brad in this one, but did agree that it needed something. What we couldn't agree on was exactly what it did need!

I also used a Bravo Burgundy/Night of Navy combo on some cards. That is a very "Americana" color combo that I loved using for Land That I Love (another oldie but goodie that needs to see some ink--maybe next month). I didn't care for it so much with this stamp set, though-- not sure why. Maybe a bit too sober when compared to the Real Red cards?

On to thank you cards today, as my sub day was canceled (darn budget cuts!)-- as some of you have no doubt noticed, they are LONG overdue!

Have a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

January Stamp Club

I so enjoy the ladies in my club. We always have a great time laughing and creating together. Wednesday was no exception (we missed you, Kelley!) except there was a bit of sadness. For the time being, I can't commit to another round of the club, and I think we all realized just how much we will miss each other (and the swap cards!!). We should find out if the bank will accept our offer on the other house (it is a short sale so the bank has the final word, although the sellers have already accepted and it is no longer being shown to others). If yes, then I will have a good solid 2 months work getting us packed up and settled in, not to mention getting this one ready to be rented. Byron has already done most of the kids' bathroom (ours is next!) and it will be so nice that staying here a little longer won't be a hardship. Oh wait, there go the dogs again..... Keep your fingers crossed for us! I'm trying very hard to emulate Doris Day (que sera, sera....) but we had expected to hear by now! The realtor said mid-Jan.

There is a definite learning curve to the world of blogging and I haven't turned the corner yet, so this does not look as smooth as I would like. Above is the Hershey Bar holder (you could also use Laffy Taffy, but I am addicted to that, so chose not to have so much tempation around!) we made at the January Club meeting. You can get 3 of these out of one piece of cardstock. I based this on Amy Celona's Kind Friend candy holder, just made it smaller and centered. You can see all of Amy's creations at She's amazing!

Heidi B. showed me how to make a scalloped medallion. It was so easy I was eager to show everyone. The medallion was the easiest thing about this card! Then I fiddled and fiddled and fiddled with how to embellish it. I put everything down and went to bed, incredibly frustrated that the simple-yet-elegant Valentine's card I envisioned was not materializing. The next day, I came back and tried to figure out the red inside layer. That worked, but I still wasn't happy with anything else. I tried several different color combos, any large embellishment I had, still no joy---nada, nyet, niente, rien! Finally a scrap of gold metallic ribbon fell across the card as I rummaged through yet another container and EUREKA! I knew exactly how to finish the card. I matted brushed gold behind the medallion, embossed "I heart u" and punched it with the Curly label punch. Just needs a little something more.......the heart from A Happy Heart was too large, but this one from Best Wishes and More was just right. Mission accomplished!

This next stamp set is oh-so-my- style. SU! gives demos the option of purchasing level 2 and 3 sets before the catalog comes out and this was my choice, Echoes of Kindness. You know how I love to watercolor! I followed a link from SCS and found myself on Jenn Dierks blog, Stamp Your Heart Out. She had the ingenious idea of going over the colored parts of the image with a Versamarker, then embossing with Crystal Clear EP. Then, sponging the color for the background is a breeze, because the embossed bits won't take the ink. Good one, Jenn!

I love daily planners. Mine is always tucked into my purse, ready to be pulled out and scribbled in. I found these at Michael's-- I would have preferred the larger ones we did last year for the Christmas Gifts Class, but these are more traditionally-sized and turned out pretty cute! I started to stamp the year on my design (don't you love the new Raspberry Tart designer paper? So pretty!) but something nagged at me; I knew somewhere in my stacks of sets there was the perfect saying for this. 15 minutes later, I held "Full of Life" up triumphantly and set to work. "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." So appropriate for a planner! The flowers are from Petal Pizzazz-- that set is so not my style. I got it mainly so I would be forced to stretch a bit artistically! I can hear some of you groaning right now-- "great, something else to cut out!".
Have a wonderful long weekend!